Major League Baseball on Friday cleared Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman of any wrongdoing in connection to a December report by Al Jazeera that claimed both players received performance-enhancing drugs
The documentary, entitled "The Dark Side: Secrets of the Sports Dopers," reported that Howard, Zimmerman and several other professional athletes allegedly received PED shipments. The documentary's source, Charlie Sly, recanted his comments before the report aired.
Howard and Zimmerman fully cooperated in the Commissioner Office's investigation that "did not find any violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program."
Sly did not agree to speak with MLB.
"I'm happy it's over," Howard said before Friday night's game against the Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. "It's something that weighs on you, when you get stuff like that. I'm happy to put it behind me and keep going.
"The accusations from Al Jazeera came out of nowhere, and I was shocked and outraged by their false claims," Howard said earlier in a statement. "I welcomed the investigation by Major League Baseball as an opportunity to clear my name. … MLB's findings validate what I have said publicly. I am glad that this part of the process has concluded, and I look forward to holding the responsible people accountable for these false and defamatory claims in my ongoing litigation against Al Jazeera and its reporters."
Zimmerman discussed his interview with MLB before the Nationals-Braves game on Friday.
"I gave [Major League Baseball] everything they needed. I fully cooperated. It's easy to do that when you have nothing to hide," Zimmerman said. "MLB … did their due diligence for seven months and they couldn't find anything. So I guess there are going to be people who think what they want to think, but you can't do anything about that.
"We are cleared from the MLB side. The whole point of the lawsuit is to not allow people to smear your name without any evidence, without any proof. That will go on."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.